Training in Rio & Chopping Coconuts: Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle!

In the last couple of weeks, training in Rio with some great athletes and fighters who have a strong wrestling base, I haven’t felt as crisp or smooth as I should. It’s good because it has forced me to re-evaluate some of my training and allow me make adjustments where they are needed.

This blog is written by Connection Rio team member Torryn Heffelfinger. He blogs weekly on life and training BJJ, wrestling and MMA in Rio de Janeiro. In the following excerpt from his weekly blog “Training the Dream”, he talks training in Rio and the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle. Click the link to read the full post.

Part of the adjustment has been doing a bit more rehab work on my ankle. Pretty much since the injury I have just let it heal and rested it when needing it; but I got some good tips from Dennis on how to strengthen my ankle by putting on a diving flipper and sitting on the edge of the pool and kicking my foot for 10-15 minutes everyday.

The BJJ training this week was, as always, top notch. On Tuesday Dennis came in for his weekly class at the house. It was a drill heavy technique session where we covered a standing sweep series, and spent a lot of time working the positional transitions from one sweep to the next. We then spent a large portion of time hitting the sweeps one-for-one with our partners giving us different looks so we would have to make the proper adjustments to sweep. We finished off the class by working a butterfly guard sweep, which fits my explosive style well.

Torryn training at Nova Uniao

Torryn training at Nova Uniao


Training at Nova Uniao

To cap the week of training off I headed into Nova Uniao for training on Friday. It was great to say the least. The technique covered was another butterfly pass that works hand-in-hand with the pass that Dennis had shown earlier in the week.

I finished the class out with a roll against a short stocky brown belt. In my roll against him I felt like I used my wrestling for bjj better than I have in a while. I felt comfortable in scrambles and kept a calm mind if I got put in a bad position. A couple of times he got me to turtle position, which instead of being defensive or trying to re-guard, I got wrist control, and worked for hip-heist escapes or switches.

Out of one of the scrambles I found him hitting a standing pass, I was able to sit up in half guard and I realized I was in one of the positions I had worked through earlier in the week at the CR wrestling class (thanks to Ryosie for asking me the question that made me have to teach the position). I was able to turn the corner on a low single and work up to take the back with a single hook and a power half (I prefer it to the double hooks). While we weren’t there for long, he quickly scrambled out, it was a strong transition and I felt better during that roll than I have in a while. I finished up with the session with some drilling and then headed back to CR….after my post training acai and espresso of course.

Who says you need to head to the beach for an agua de coco? Fresh from the garden.

Who says you need to head to the beach for fresh agua de coco? Fresh from the garden.

From training and accommodation to academy visits and special tours, and even small group classes with the best teachers Rio has to offer, Connection Rio offers everything you need for the perfect jiu-jitsu holiday!

Take a look at our brochure – we’ve got houses with pools, huge gardens, and apartments next to the beach: all within 30 seconds walk of top BJJ gyms in Rio!

Connection Rio is the best combination of accommodation and BJJ training in Rio de Janeiro. Contact us today and plan your trip to train BJJ in Rio!

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